I used to be obsessed with having perfect skin. I would look in the mirror and single out every little blemish or mark on my face that I didn't like and get mad my skin for misbehaving. I was one of those girls that would have one or two blemishes pop up during a certain time of the month and would be convinced that it was the only thing people would notice when they looked at me. Then I grew up. I studied biochemistry and learned about the intricacies of the human body, and I had children and learned about the effects of words and emotions. I learned three important truths that have changed my perspective on my skin.
1) Our words and thoughts have power
Self talk is becoming a buzz word these days, and with good reason. The way we speak to ourselves, about ourselves, and about the world around us has a physical effect on our bodies. A mentor of mine often refers to "word curses" and how harmful they are to us and to the people around us. Saying things like, "I'm bad at that", "I'm just clumsy", "I have bad skin", "I hate my hair/body/house/job etc". They can also refer to other people: "He's such a jerk", "She will never learn". These absolute statements simply entrench those negative beliefs further.
Researchers are discovering that the words we speak, and the emotion with which they are spoken can create physical changes in our DNA. This is true for the words we speak to ourselves, as well as the words we speak to and about others. After learning this I made some changes to the way that I speak. I no longer call my oldest son a picky eater, instead I say that he is still learning how to eat well. In fact, I discourage the use of any labels in my home. We don't call people names, we can point out issues, but we do not label people with them. For example I often say things to my boys like "you're not stupid, but you did make a very poor decision. What can we learn from that?"
When you look at yourself and notice the things you don't like, pay attention to how you talk about it. Do you call yourself names? Do you get mad at your skin and punish it for misbehaving? To you hate your body? These word curses make it so much more difficult for your body to heal. The most useful tool I have found to change the way I talk to myself when I'm frustrated with my flaws is to be grateful to them for showing up. Why should you be grateful to your skin for breaking out? Let me explain.
2) Your skin us trying to send a signal to you that something is wrong
Your skin is an amazing organism. It is constantly evaluating your environment to help your body adapt to changes. It is your first line of defense against disease and injury. It keeps you from danger by telling you when something is too hot, too cold, sharp, or caustic. Your skin is so much more than a beauty gauge.
Common skin challenges like acne, eczema, psoriasis, excessive chapping, redness, or brittle skin are all indicators of an imbalance in your system. Some of the most common causes for these complaints are food sensitives, hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiency, and body toxicity. If left unchecked you will start to notice bigger issues like extreme fatigue, weight issues, chronic pain, weakened immune system, and a myriad of other health complaints. So, rather than get mad your skin for breaking out, thank it. When your skin issues flare up, they are indicating that you need to step back and take care of your body.
I experienced this first hand during this year's Christmas break. I ate entirely too much sugar, drank more wine than usual, and did not keep my stress in check. As a result, my face broke out in acne and my cheeks and nose turned bright red. I also got very tired, and my back pain returned. These were all signals from my body to slow down and take better care of myself.
_ 3) My children pick up on pretty much everything
I don't want my young boys learning that our outer appearance is the gauge on which we measure beauty. I don't want them worrying over freckles (which my oldest has in abundance), pimples, scars or other perceived flaws. Those things are just part of our life, and life is so much bigger than the little spots on my face. I'm not taking care of my skin to have a flawless complexion, I am taking care of my skin because skin is important. It does so many wonderful things for me, and I need to treat it with respect and care so that it can continue to do so. This is the message I want my sons to learn about why I make skincare products.
If you would like to know how you can understand the messages your skin is sending about your health email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to check out my 5 simple steps to healthier skin where I share some things you can start doing today to improve your skin from the inside out.